Can A Conditional Green Card Holder Work In The United States?

Yes! The green card is evidence of not only your status in the country but also proof that you are authorized to legally work in the U.S.

When you applied for a green card, you may have also applied for an EAD card, the Employment Authorization Document. You used the EAD card to show proof that you’re legally authorized to work in the country. However, once you get your green card, you don’t need the EAD card anymore.

Can A Non-Conditional Green Card Holder Be Employed?

Yes, you can be employed in the U.S. as a non-conditional green card holder.

How Does A Divorce Affect A Conditional Green Card Holder?

If you are divorced before filing the I-751, you have to check the box that says you’re seeking a waiver. The I-751 generally requires you file it with the spouse that petitioned for you to get your conditional green card. If you are divorced, you then have to provide proof that at the time you married your spouse, it was a real marriage.

If you’re getting a divorce, you need to keep all bank statements, and anything you and your spouse have together before your divorce for when you do have to file that I-751. These documents are important to establish that even though the marriage has been terminated, you both entered into a real marriage.

How Does Divorce Affect A Non-Conditional Green Card Holder?

Divorce does not affect the non-conditional green card holder (10-year visa) who gets divorced. Instead, it affects the main applicant, (the petitioner), who filed the green card paperwork for you.

At the time the petitioner submits the immigration application, they fill out an I-864 affidavit of support form: a legal contractual agreement with the government that they would be financially obligated for you. That responsibility doesn’t end even with divorce.

The petitioner’s responsibility toward the non-conditional green card holder only goes away after one of the following:

  • becomes a US citizen
  • does something that revokes their green card
    • commits a type of crime where they get deported
  • works in the U.S. for at least 10 years,
    • have paid 40 quarters towards their social security.

Thus, even after divorce, the petitioner is still financially obligated to the non-conditional green card holder.

How Does An Arrest And/ Or Conviction Affect A Conditional Green Card Holder?

It depends on the type of offense you are convicted of. Certain offenses under the Immigration Nationality Act of Section 237 can make a conditional green card holder deportable, meaning that with a conviction, the Department of Homeland Security can issue you a notice to appear in Immigration Court and initiate removal proceedings against you. Even if you get probation, whether it’s deferred probation or straight probation, if any of those probations require you to enter a plea of guilty before a judge under immigration law, it’s still considered a conviction.

Your criminal defense attorney does have a legal obligation to inform you of the possible effect on your immigration status in a criminal proceeding. So, if you find yourself talking to a criminal defense attorney, it may be in your best interest to at least consult with if not also work with an immigration attorney about the effect on your immigration status of a conviction, probation, or plea offer offered by the district attorney.

How Does An Arrest And Conviction Affect A Non-Conditional Green Card Holder?

As with the conditional green card holder, it depends on the type of offense you are convicted of. Non-conditional green card holders can be placed in removal proceedings and/or get their green card revoked.

If you do have a past conviction where you weren’t deported, it’s in your best interest to remain in the U.S. Before leaving the U.S., it is also in your best interest to talk to an immigration attorney just to make sure that your offense is not one of those listed under INA Section 212, which states all the grounds on which you not would not be allowed back into the country.

If your offense is one of those on the list and you leave the United States, the government may not let you back into the country.

For more information on Immigration Law in Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 532-5666 today.